Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Santiago Rodriguez

Second Committee Member

Kevin Kenner

Third Committee Member

Naoko Takao

Fourth Committee Member

Maria Fenty Denison

Fifth Committee Member

Gary Wood


Grażyna Bacewicz is known as one of the most successful Polish female composers in the twentieth century. Although she is known mostly for her orchestral and string compositions, her piano works are a major part of her output. Her Piano Sonata No. 2 is recognized as her most representative piano work. The sonata was written during a time that Poland was politically influenced by Stalin’s Soviet Union. Bacewicz needed to regulate her musical contents within the compositional restrictions imposed by the Polish Communist Party. By comparing the Sonata No. 2 with her unpublished Sonata No. 1, this thesis serves as the first study about Bacewicz’s Sonata No. 1, and it reveals Bacewicz’s expressive intentions in composing Sonata No. 2 under politically turbulent times.


Grażyna; Bacewicz; social realism; piano sonata No. 2; piano sonata no.1; polish female composer